"Fiona Cowell, 12, of Olympia, Wash., a member of the Thurston County 4-H (including the Steamboat Island Kibbles & Bits Dog 4-H Club) and a sixth-grader at Black Lake Elementary, has worked on many volunteer projects with her 4-H clubs that benefit both animals and people. Fiona joined 4-H when she was 5 years old when her mother, a former 4-Her herself, became a leader. Being in 4-H has helped me appreciate how blessed my life is, said Fiona. Being a 4-Her has changed my life by allowing me to change the lives of others for the greater good.
Throughout the year, club members discuss the needs of the community and how they can help. That was how Fiona got involved in helping a financially struggling pet shelter. Fiona and club members donated toys, beds, food and money. It felt nice to help the place that I adopted my own dog from, she said. She often takes her dog Daisy on trips to a local nursing home, and recalls one particularly rewarding visit with a bed-ridden elderly woman who fell in love with the dog. By the time we had to go, Daisy and the lady were inseparable! she said. Fiona also has worked with her 4-H group to clear vegetation that was clogging a salmon stream, clean animal enclosures at a wildlife rehabilitation center, stuff stockings for children in need at Christmas, and collect food for a food bank."